The Central government on Wednesday said that it has provided Rs 34,800 crore financial assistance using digital payment infrastructure to about 39 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to protect them from the impact of COVID-19 lockdown.
As part of the Rs 1.70 lakh crore PMGKP, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26, the government announced free foodgrains and cash payment to women and poor senior citizens and farmers. The implementation of the package is being continuously monitored by central and state governments, the finance ministry said in a statement.
As of May 5, 2020, it said, Rs 16,394 crore has gone towards payment of the first instalment of PM-KISAN. Under the scheme, 8.19 crore identified beneficiaries got Rs 2,000 directly in their accounts. It further said that Rs 10,025 crore was credited to 20.05 crore (98.33 per cent) women Jan Dhan account holders as first instalment.
READ | Coronavirus Live Updates
The number of women PMJDY accounts holders whose accounts have been debited by customer induced transaction is 8.72 crore (44 per cent), it said, adding, Rs 2,785 crore was credited to 5.57 crore women Jan Dhan account holders with second instalment as on May 5.
The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) disbursed about Rs 1,400 crore to about 2.82 crore old age persons, widow and differently-abled persons, the ministry added. Each beneficiary received ex-gratia cash of Rs 500 under the scheme as the first instalment. Another instalment of Rs 500 each will be paid during the month.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana 67.65 Lakh MT of foodgrains have been lifted by 36 States/UTs for April 2020. Around 16 LMT of foodgrains have been distributed, covering 60.33 crore beneficiaries by 36 States/UTs for April 2020. About 6 LMT of foodgrains have been distributed, covering 12.39 crore beneficiaries by 22 States/UTs for May 2020, it said.
Moreover, it said, 9.6 lakh members of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has taken benefit of online withdrawal of non-refundable advance from EPFO account amounting to 2,985 crore so far. Increased rate for workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) has been notified effective April 1, it said.
The statement added that Fintech and digital technology have been employed for swift and efficient transfer to the beneficiary. Direct benefit transfer, i.e. transfer that ensures that the amount is directly credited into the account of the beneficiary, eliminates leakage and improves efficiency, has been employed. This has ensured credit to the beneficiary's account without the need for the beneficiary to physically go to the branch.